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News and Reunions!




The 100 year Anniversary of the RAAF.


Back in January 1920, the Australian Flying Corps became the Australian Air Corps which, on the 31st March 1921, became the Australian Air Force. It obtained the King's consent to become the Royal Australian Air Force on the 13th August 1921.



On the 13th August 2021, the RAAF will be 100 years old and they have celebratory things planned. We think it would be a golden opportunity to hold a giant celebration ourselves and invite everyone who spent time at Pt Cook and/or Laverton. And - as we're a Radschool Association, the invite would include anyone who was trained in the radio game, whether tech or operator, at either Ballarat or Frognall and of course the trainers as well as all the support staff. The invitation would also include your wife, girl-friend, husband, boy-friend (or all of the above). We're all getting on a bit and this might be our last hurrah, so we'll make it a good one.


The 13th August 2021 is a Friday, so we think we should plan for at least a week-long event centred around the 13th. The Air Force are planning big events, so should we!!  There will be lots of events so start putting away your pennies now, we’ll need confirmation of your attendance, and as we’ll need to pay deposits etc your full payment some months prior to August 2021.


For those that live north of the Murray, the weather in Melbourne in August is not conducive with sunbaking - warm clothing would definitely be recommended. You can see average Melbourne weather at that time HERE. It's a pity the AAF didn't become the RAAF in a warmer month but we'll plan around mainly under cover events.


Later in the year we’ll have an indication of costs. These won’t include accommodation which will be your responsibility. As some people live in the area, some will come by van or mobile home, others stay with friends and some will stay in motel/hotel accommodation, individual accommodation costs are a variable so not included.


We've commenced negotiations with the RAAF for access to Laverton or Pt Cook, (we don't have it yet) as we'd like to have the main events in (perhaps) the old ARDU or 1 AD hangars at Laverton or in one of the hangars at Pt Cook - it will all depend on what is still available in 2021.


It's still a few years away but these things take time to organise. We think we'll need to organise for at least 1,000 people so there's a bit to do. Make sure you tell your friends, we want as many people as possible, the more the merrier.


Let us know what you think and also let us know what event you would like to see organised. We've suggested a few events, which you can see HERE, but we need to know what you think.  We've booked the Myer Music Bowl for the Sunday the 15th (a pleasant Sunday afternoon) and we're negotiating with the RAAF to have the RAAF Central Band (and hopefully the Army and Navy Bands) entertain us during the day. We're also proposing an "Air Force has talent" contest where several serving pre-auditioned members will vie for a cash prize.


We’re proposing a sponsor for this event so it will be free.


The RAM will be the provider of information, we have a link on the Home page which will take you to the latest info as it comes to hand. Block out the dates in your diary now!!


If you don't normally get the RAM, but would like to be involved, click HERE, fill in this general form and once we have your email address we'll include you in all future mail-outs.


We have some ideas but to get an idea of your thoughts, would you fill in the fields in the form below and send to us, there will be much more detail later. (Use your TAB button to navigate from one field to the next.) We’ll provide the list of your favoured suggestions in our next issue.




You can access the celebration form HERE




Who knew what time it was when the first clock was made?



3 Sqn.


Jeff Latter would like to advise a change in personnel for the position of Secretary of the 3 Sqn Association. After 7 years in the job, he is handing over the reins as of Anzac Day 2017.


The incoming Secretary is Bill ‘Blue’ Farrell. Blue will do a good job and he is very keen on making a good fist of it.


Jeff says:  “I am sure that you will give him your support and any assistance that he may need. I thank you for all the help and friendship that you have given me during my time as Secretary.”




26 Radio Apprentices Reunion.


The 45th anniversary reunion of the intake joining the RAAF is taking place on the Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 27-29 October 2017. The functions will be at the Maroochy RSL with a bus trip to the hinterland also organised. We are looking for all members, who joined the intake, to contact the organiser, Peter ‘Pygmy’ McAndrew on 07 5444 6165 or pygmy@iinet.net.au.



At a movie theatre, which arm rest is yours?



Supporting Younger Veterans - new grant program now open.


I am writing to advise you that the new Supporting Younger Veterans (SYV) grants program is now officially open.


The SYV grants program has been established to support the needs of younger veterans as they leave the Australian Defence Force and integrate back into civilian life, with all the challenges that accompany that unique transition.



Funding can be used for initiatives that:

  • develop capability within the veteran community that services the unique needs of younger veterans;

  • support the development of well researched and tailored services for younger veterans;

  • fund organisations that can sustainably deliver services to younger veterans now and into the future;

  • increase collaboration amongst organisations to expand services and harness existing expertise; and/or

  • increase awareness of younger veteran issues and or services within the Australian and veteran communities, where doing so would benefit younger veterans.

The SYV grants program provides $4.25 million over five years to Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) to encourage partnerships that will deliver innovative and sustainable services for younger veterans and build community capacity to meet the needs of younger veterans. The grants will also help raise awareness of the important issues faced by younger veterans.


There is no maximum or minimum amount that can be sought for this grants program; however, all applications will be assessed on their merit and subject to a cost benefit analysis.


Applications for a $250,000 special round of SYV grants closed on the 26th May 2017 with successful applicants announced in June.


Future rounds of the grants will allocate $1m each financial year. Future rounds will open 1 July each year, commencing 2017, and will close 1 September each year, until 2020.


To apply, please visit the DVA website and follow the instructions. The grant guidelines and application form are attached.


DVA staff members are available to assist with the development of applications. For further information, please contact the Grants Section in DVA’s National Office by email DVA.Grants.Processing.Team@dva.gov.au or by phone to 1800 026 185.


Jim McGrath

Assistant Director

Income Support & Grants – Grants, Bursary & Advocacy Training

Department of Veterans' Affairs



In the word scent, is the "S" silent or is it the "C"?



38 Squadron Association.


John Griffiths wrote:  “We know you have been waiting, and now, in time for ANZAC Day we are launching the 38 Squadron Association.


What’s in it for me?


The aim of the Association is to foster the spirit of comradeship forged during service with No 38 Squadron among members of the Association and capture and document the history and personality of No 38 Squadron.


So, if you have been a member of 38 Squadron, be it in the time of the Hudson, C 47, Caribou or King Air, why not come on board?


You will find the Application to join the Association HERE.”



Why is there a 'D' in fridge, but not in refrigerator?



The Jeep.


When it became obvious that the United States was eventually going to become involved in the war raging in Europe, the U.S. Army contacted 135 companies asking for working prototypes of a four-wheel-drive reconnaissance vehicle. Only two companies responded to the request: American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland. Bantam was the successor to American Austin, which had gone bankrupt and it made a competent small roadster not unlike the British-made Austin. The Army had set what seemed like an impossible deadline of 49 days to supply a working prototype. Willys asked for more time, but was refused. Bantam had no engineering staff left on the payroll and solicited Karl Probst, a talented freelance designer from Detroit. After turning down Bantam's initial request, Probst responded to an Army request and commenced work, initially without salary, on the 17th July, 1940.


Probst laid out full plans for the Bantam prototype, known as the BRC or Bantam Reconnaissance Car, in just two days, working up a cost estimate the next. Bantam's bid was submitted, complete with blueprints, on July 22.  While much of the vehicle could be assembled from off-the-shelf automotive parts, custom four-wheel drivetrain components were to be supplied by Spicer. The hand-built prototype was completed in Butler, Pennsylvania and driven to Camp Holabird, Maryland, for Army testing on the 21st September, 2 months after starting work. The vehicle met all the Army's criteria except engine torque.


As World War II had already begun in Asia, with Japan expanding in China, Manchuria and Southeast Asia, the Imperial Japanese Army was using a small four-wheel-drive car for reconnaissance and troop movements, having introduced the Kurogane Type 95 (left) in 1936.


The Army felt that the Bantam company was too small to supply the number of vehicles it needed, so it supplied the Bantam design to Willys and Ford, who were encouraged to make their own changes and modifications. The resulting Ford "Pygmy" and Willys "Quad" prototypes looked very similar to the Bantam BRC prototype, and Spicer supplied very similar four-wheel drivetrain components to all three manufacturers.


Fifteen hundred of each of the three models (Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP, and Willys MA) were built and extensively field-tested. Delmar "Barney" Roos, Willys-Overland's chief engineer, made design changes to meet a revised weight specification (a maximum of 1,275 lb (578 kg), including oil and water). He was thus able to use the powerful but comparatively heavy Willys "Go Devil" engine, and win the initial production contract. The Willys version of the car would become the standardized Jeep design, designated the model MB and was built at their plant in Toledo, Ohio. The familiar pressed-metal Jeep grille was actually a Ford design feature and incorporated in the final design by the Army.


Since the War Department required a large number of vehicles to be manufactured in a relatively short time, Willys-Overland granted the United States Government a non-exclusive license to allow another company to manufacture vehicles using Willys' specifications. The Army chose Ford as the second supplier, building Jeeps to the Willys' design. Willys supplied Ford with a complete set of plans and specifications. American Bantam, the creators of the first Jeep, built approximately 2700 of them to the BRC-40 design, but then spent the rest of the war building heavy-duty trailers for the Army.


During World War II, Ford and Willys produced nearly 648,000 Jeeps, the bulk of these, some 361,339 units, were Willys MB models


The versatile 4×4 helped change the tide of the war and won the affections of GI’s and civilians everywhere. The Jeep accounted for over 15% of the total wartime military vehicle production and was so good that the British even strapped one on the deck of a submarine and transported it underwater to a Mediterranean island to support a commando raid.


No enemy vehicle could match the jeep. The Japanese tried but failed with a version of the Datsun automobile. The German Kübelwagen—short for a longer word meaning “bucket-seat car”, was designed by the automotive genius Ferdinand Porsche and produced by Volkswagen. Like the familiar Volkswagen Beetle, it was powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder engine mounted over the rear wheels, which gave the Kübelwagen exceptional traction. But it lacked the power of the jeep’s Go-Devil engine and the handling over rough terrain afforded by the jeep’s greater weight and four-wheel drive. In comparison tests conducted at Maryland’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1943, a Kübelwagen captured in North Africa finished a poor second to the jeep.


The American capacity for mass production, shipping, and distribution was one of the major reasons why the Allies won World War II. Among the wonders to move quickly from American factories to the front lines were the hundreds of thousands of jeeps. Stateside factories shipped jeeps in enormous crates—one per jeep. When an assembly line of trained US Army mechanics was ready, it could assemble a jeep in 3 minutes.



If you happen to come across one of the crates, HERE is the instruction manual on how to put the Jeep together.


Many explanations of the origin of the word jeep have proven difficult to verify. The most widely held theory is that the military designation GP (for Government Purposes or General Purpose) was slurred into the word Jeep in the same way that the contemporary HMMWV (for High-Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle) has become known as the Humvee. This suggestion however, is also disputed.


Meanwhile, in the years following World War II, the army deemed the thousands of combat-weary jeeps surplus and thus disposable. These surplus jeeps were sold to the public at prices between $400 and $600. At the head of the line of buyers were returning GIs who wanted to own the indomitable vehicle that had helped them win the war.




How do you get off a non-stop Flight?



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